Saturday, 29 April 2017

Y is for Youthful Yelps

Yawning Yowls & Youthful Yelps
Yodelling Yippees & Yearning Yells

Teenagers’ vocal chords expanding!

I know sometimes we think all teenagers do is grunt but actually if you have to wake one up in the morning you get a real range of sounds! Listening to a group of them around a park bench you could be forgiven in thinking it was a group of howler monkeys at times!!  But we were all there at some stage of our lives - wanting to be the centre of attention, showing off, being part of the gang and certainly sounding loud and high spirited - because that is all part of being Youthful :)

Have you got any memories of those times?  What words do you associate with being a teenager? Where did you go to be with your friends?  Leave a comment below and let me know :)

Friday, 28 April 2017

X is for Xerxes & Xenophobe

X is always the most difficult letter for me in the A-Z Challenge so instead of my normal alliterative poem here is this offering instead!

When I started school at five X was for X-ray and Xylophone (which didn’t make sense!)
When I was a little older X was for Xanadu and Xanthe 
faraway & fantasy
When I started Secondary school X was for Xenon and Xylems  scientific & special
When I left secondary school X was for Xeroxes and Xanthan gum process & production
When I did “A” Levels X was for Xerxes and Xenophobe 
history & hatred
Now I am this old X is for Xhosa and Xerus 
reading & relaxation

Looking forward to reading everyone else's X.  When do you remember learning certain words beginning with X?  Did you ever get the pronunciation wrong? Are you a crossword or Scrabble enthusiast who loves X?  Leave a comment below to let us all know :)

Thursday, 27 April 2017

W is for Winter Wonderland

Warm woolies, wet wellies,
whooshing whiteness, welcome whistle,
Walking (and running and sliding) in a Winter Wonderland

We used to be allowed out in the snow to build snowmen, throw snowballs, slip and slide and delight in the white blanketed school field and playground.  Because I could walk to my schools, school never seemed to close although I do remember some of the school buses from the tiny villages (at senior school) not turning up very occasionally.  

Now days when it snows, schools are much more likelier to close due to lack of teachers and pupils making it in - probably because so many more live further away.  Certainly on snowy days, my children and I would listen to the morning radio to hear the list of school closures and most of the time they'd be wishing their ones would be closed!!

Do you remember your winter school days?  Did you clip your welly boots together with a peg?  Did your teachers join in the fun? Or if you live in a hot country that doesn't have snow, do schools close if it gets too hot and at what temperature does that happen?  Leave a message below because I sure would like to know :)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

V is for Voiceless Victim

Vacant, Void, Vexed, Visibly Vanished,
Viscous Verdicts, Values Vanquished
Is this what it's like to be the
Voiceless Victim?

I'm watching 13 Reasons Why.  I know I'm not the demographic it was aimed at but I am "enjoying" it - if that's the right way to describe something about teen suicide?  I think it gives the appropriate attention to the fall-out on the adults and the teens it depicts but I don't know because luckily for me I've never had anyone close to me who took their own life.  But I do know what it feels like to be a child who feels suicidal because I once was that child.  Age 11.  There...that is something I have never told anyone. 

Luckily, I kept thinking what would happen to the people I left behind and I decided that I couldn't do that to them.  I had changed primary schools at Easter for the last term before secondary school and I hated my new school mainly I think because I had loved my previous school.  I didn't fit in, I had no friends. I was becoming pre-pubescent. I felt I couldn't tell my parents because I knew how much the move had meant to them.  I was alone and therefore I just didn't want to go on anymore.  If I say, I opened high-up windows and found razor-blades and leave it at that. 

It was an awful period but I got through it and when I went to secondary school I left behind those children and that school ethos and made good friends and had a wonderful time.  And no-one ever knew because I didn't want anyone to.  And that's why, when I watch 13 Reasons Why, I think they have it right about the victim being voiceless and unable to tell anyone what she is going through - to make the true connection person to person and get help - because it is so hard.  
I don't have any answers and these are only my own thoughts - I am quite happy to have comments but I also know this is a very sensitive subject so please write considerately.  Thank you.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

U is for Uniformity

Unyielding Uniformity - Unbending, Unquestioning, Unambitious
Unnerving Uniformity - Unforgiving, Uncaring, Unbelievable
Unleash Uniqueness - Understanding, Unafraid, Unbowed

I am not a fan of uniformity - maybe because I've always been a bit of an Undercover rebel? Recently, for my Nordic walking, I went on a course and one of my fears was that the instruction would be about how each lesson would be uniform across the board with no ability to teach to the individual - which is sometimes what it takes.  Luckily, this was not the case and I could breathe a sigh of relief and return to my Nordic walkers knowing what I'd been doing had been given the thumbs up as a way of teaching :)
It seems to be that Unfortunately more and more teachers have to fit into a pattern of uniformity across the school. Of course I can see some strengths in this - a uniform reading scheme - a uniform maths scheme etc but the growing encroachment on how teachers teach is more of a worry to me.  To be shoe-horned into a way of doing things does not seem right.  We all have our own ways of getting through to children and we tweak these ways to respond to individuals if we are a good teacher. Each class is different and respond to different things - knowing how to do this is surely one of the signs of being a good teacher? Having our hands tied on the ways we do things stops this from happening - so for that I am NOT a fan of Uniformity in teaching.

Now it's your turn: What is a pet hate of yours?  How can we make the world a better place?  Are you a fan of uniformity?  Leave a comment below because you know I'd love to know :)

Monday, 24 April 2017

T is for Terrible Teacher

Thoughtlessly Trenchant, Terrifyingly Tempestuous,
Taunting Tirades, Tediously Trite,
These Things Tailor a Terrible Teacher

Perhaps not a post a teacher should be writing but we have all come across those teachers who really shouldn't have been in teaching.  I was a good student and luckily didn't have any of the wrath of teachers fall on me personally but I was still in classrooms where a teacher could terrify you with their shouting or throwing of board rubbers!  Or those who thought it was a good idea to really bring a student down a peg by rubbishing their work - how many children were put off a subject because they were told they couldn't do it?  I think things have got better but I don't think any teacher should be complacent about how and what they teach - children need a lot more than simply an adult standing at the front of the class telling them things!
Did you ever experience a Terrible Teacher?  Did you ever get put off a subject at school because of your teacher?  Did you ever overcome a difficulty despite your teacher?  Leave a comment below because I sure would like to know :)

Saturday, 22 April 2017

S is for Solitary Sapien Solar System?

Solitary Sapien-Specied Solar System?
Slight & Shatterable, Solicits Salvation
So Salute
Earth Day and do what you can!

As Eco Co-ordinator for my school, I used to love the initiatives for Earth Day and the challenges I would set the children to celebrate the 22nd April.  
What will you be doing for Planet Earth?  Click on the link above for ideas :)